Home General Knowledge INDIA : ART AND CULTURE
Monday, 23 April 2012 06:54

In 1945, Asiatic Society of Bengal Proposed for the creation of a National Cultural Trust consisting of three academies:

(i) an Academy of Dance, Drama, and Music,

(ii) an Academy of Letters, and

(iii) an Academy of Art and Architecture.

The entire question was reconsidered after independence, in a Conference on Art held in Kolkata in 1949; and two Conferences, on Letters, and the other on Dance, Drama and Music, held in New Delhi in 1951 and finally Government of India recommended the creation of three national academies; an Academy of Dance, Drama, and Music, an Academy of Letters and an Academy of Art.


The National Academy of Dance, Drama and Music, named Sangeet Natak Akademi, was established by a resolution of the Ministry of Education, headed by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, signed on 31 May, 1952. On 28th Jan., 1953, Sangeet Natak Akademi was inaugurated by the President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

The Akademi’s charter of functions contained in the 1952 resolution was expanded along the original lines in 1961, when Sangeet Natak Akademi was reconstituted by the Government as a society and registered under the Societies registration Act of 1860 (as amended in 1957). These functions are set down in the Akademi’s Memorandum of Association, adopted at its registration as a society on 11 September, 1961. The great masters of the performing arts have been elected as Fellows of the Akademi. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards conferred annually on eminent artists and scholars are considered the most coveted honours in the field of the performing arts. The Akademi’s Gallery of Musical Instruments has a collection of more than 600 instruments of prominence. The library of Sangeet Natak Akademi has similarly attracted, and continues to attract, authors, students and researchers in these disciplines. Sangeet Natak the Akademi’s journal published since 1965, had proved to be one of the longest  running periodicals in its own domain, and has published the original work of both eminent writers as well as those of lesser known. The akademi established the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipuri Dance Academy in Imphal, the premier institution in Manipuri dance and music in 1954, the National School of drama in 1959 and the Kathak Kendra in 1964, both being based in Delhi. The Akademi’s ongoing projects of national importance are in Kutiyattam theatre of Kerala, which commenced in 1991 received recognition from UNESCO as a Master piece of oral and intangible heritage of Humanity in 2011. The project in Chhau dance of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal began in 1994. The project support to Sattriya music, dance, theatre and allied arts of Assam was started in 2002.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi is at present an autonomous body of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and is fully funded by Government of India.


Lalit Kala Akademi (National Akademi of Arts) established at New Delhi in 1954 and has regional centres called Rashtriya Lalit Kala Kendras at Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, Garhi in New Delhi and Bhubaneswar.

The Akademi organize national exhibition of contemporary Indian art with 15 national awards, each of Rs. 50,000/-, while every three years, also organizes Triennial India, an International exhibition of contemporary art in New Delhi.

The Akademi honours artists and art historians every year by electing them as Fellows of the Akademi and also brings out bi-annual art journals, Lalit Kala Contemporary (English), Lalit Kala Ancient (English) and Samkaleen Kala (Hindi).



Two main schools of classical music – Hindustani and Carnatic continues to survive through oral tradition being passed on by teachers to disciples. This has led to the existence of family traditions called gharanas and sampradayas.


Dance in India has two main divisions being classical and folk. Classical dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline and have rigid rules of presentation. Important among them: Bharata Natyam (Tamil Nadu), Kathak (Uttar Pradesh), Kathakali (Kerala), Manipuri (Manipur), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh) and Odissi (Odisha) once practiced as a temple dance.


The National School of Drama (NSD) was set up by in 1959 which became an autonomous body in 1975, totally financed by Department of Culture. The objective of NSD is to train students in all aspects of theatre, including theatre history, production, scene design, costume design, lighting, make-up, etc. The training course at NSD is of three years duration. Each year, 20 students are admitted to the course after screening through two stages. The Diploma of NSD is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities as equivalent to M.A. Degree for appointment as teachers in colleges / Universities and for purposes of registration for Ph.D. The School has a performing wing, a Repertory Company established in 1964 with the dual purpose establishing professional theatre on one hand and continuing with the regular experimental work on the other. The Theatre-in-Education Company (renamed as Sanskar Rang Toli) was founded in 1989 and has been actively involved in production of plays for children, organizing summer theatre workshops in the schools of Delhi and also promoting children’s theatre through Saturday Club. Since 1998, the School has organized National Theatre Festival for Children christened ‘Jashne Bachpan’ every year. The first ever National Theatre Festival christened Bharat Rang Mahotsav was held from 18 March to 14 April 1999 to commemorate the 50th year of India’s Independence. After success of the first Bharat Rang Mahotsav, it has been made an annual feature. To reach a vast majority of theatre artists in various states with diverse languages and cultural backgrounds, who cannot have access to the regular training course provided by the School, a short-term teaching and training programme titled ‘Extention Programme’ was started in 1978.


Sahitya Akademi, Indian National Academy of Letters, established in March 1954 as an autonomous body fully funded by the Department of Culture. Later on registered as a Society in 1956 under the Societies Registration Act 1860. The Akademi has recognized 24 languages. It has an Advisory Board for each of the languages and four Regional Boards. Besides its Head Office in New Delhi, it has four offices: Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangaluru and Chennai, two Translation Centres at Bangaluru and Kolkata, a Project Office at Shilong and an Archives of Indian literature in Delhi. It maintains a unique multilingual library in New Delhi and at its regional offices at Bangaluru and Kolkata.

The highest honour conferred by the Akademi on a writer is by electing him its Fellow. This honour is reserved for the ‘Immortals of Literature’ and limited to 21 at any given time. So far 66 writers have been elected Fellows of the Sahitya Akademi. It has recognized 850 authors and 283 translators with its Awards and Translation Prizes for distinguished contribution to literature, and given 31 Bhasha Sammans awards. The Akademi publishes books in 24 languages and has three journals, Indian Literature (bi-monthly in English), Samkaleena Bhartiya Sahitya (bi-monthly in Hindi) and Samskrita Pratibha (half-yearly in Sanskrit). It has certain special projects like the Ancient Indian Literature, Medieval Indian Literature and Modern Indian Literature together constituting ten volumes of the best of Indian writing over five millennia. It has also launched a new project Encyclopedia of Indian Poetics. The Akademi holds an annual week-long ‘Festival of Letters’, usually in February with Award-giving ceremony, Samvatsar Lecture and a National Seminar. The Akademi also introduced a new series of programmes entitled Sur Sahitya as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2004-05.




Bharat Natyam

Tamil Nadu






Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand








North India




Andhra Pradesh




Madhya Pradesh










Himachal Pradesh






Jammu & Kashmir







Kathakeertan, Lezin, Dandaniya, Tamasha, Gafa, Dahikala, Lovani, Mauni, Dasavtar.


Huttari, Suggi, Kunitha, Yakashagana


Kaikottikali, Kaliyattam, Tappatikkali

Tamil Nadu

Kolattam, Pinnal Kolattam, Kummi, Kavadj, Karagam

Andhra Pradesh

Ghanta Mardala, Veedhi, Natakam, Burrakatha


Ghumara Sanchar, Chadya Dandanata, Chhau

West Bengal

Kathi, Chhau, Baul, Kirtan, Jatra, Lama


Bihu, Khel Gopal, Rash Lila, Tabal Chongli, Canoe


Giddha (women), Bhangra (men)

Jammu & Kashmir

Rauf, Hikat

Himachal Pradesh

Jhora, Jhali, Dangli, Mahasu, Jadda, Jhainta, Chharhi


Jhumar, Ras Leela, Phag, dance, Daph, Dhamal, Loor, Gugga, Khoria, Gagor


Garba, Dandiya Rass, Tippani, Gomph


Ginad, Chakri, Gangore, Terahtaal, Khayal, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini


Jata Jatin, Jadur, Chhau, Kathaputli, Bakho, Jhijhiya, Samochakwa, Karma, Jatra, Natna

Uttar Pradesh

Nautanki, Thora, Chappeli, Raslila, Kajri.





Bala Saraswati, C.V.Chandrasekhar, Leela Samson, Mrinalini, Sarabhai, Padma Subrarnanyam, Rukmini Devi, Sanyukta Panigrahi, Sonal Man Singh, Yamini Krishnamurti


Bharti Gupta, Birju Maharaj, Damayanti Joshi, Durga Das, Gopi Krishna, Kumudini Lakhia, Sambhu Uaharaj, Sitara Devi


Josyula Seetharamaiah, Vempathi Chinna Sathyam


Guru Bipin Sinha, Jhaveri Sisters, Nayana Jhaveri, Nirmala Mehta, Savita Mehta


Debaprasad Das, Dhirendra Nath Pattnaik, Indrani Rahman, Kelucharan Mahapatra, Priyambada Mohanty, Sonal Man Singh.





Ali Akbar Khan, Allaudin Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Buddhadev Dasgupta, Bahadur Khan, Sharan Rani, Zarin S. Sharma.


Alia Rakha Khan, Kishan Maharaj, Nikhil Ghosh, Zakir Hussain


Baluswamy Dikshitar, Gajanan Rao Joshi, Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, M.S. Gopala Krishnan, Mysore T. Chowdiah, T.N. Krishnan.


Bismillah Khan


Nikhil Banerjee, Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Hara Shankar Bhattacharya


Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pannalal Ghose, T.R. Mahalingam


K.R. Kumaraswamy Iyer, Doraiswami Iyengar





Shubha Mudgal, Bheemsen Joshi, Madhup Mudgal, Mukul Shivputra, Pandit Jasraj, Parveen Sultana, Naina Devi, Girija Devi, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Gangubai Hangal, Krishna Hangal, V. Rajput, Kumar Gandharva, Faiyyaz Khan, Mallikarjun Mansur.


M.S. Subbalakshmi, Balamuralikrishna, Bombay Jaishree, H.K. Raghavaendra, H.K. Venkataram, Sitarajam, Mani Krishnaswamy, Akhil Krishnan, M.L. Vasanthakumari, M.D. Ramanathan, G.N. Balasubramaniam.


Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustan Mazhar Ali Khan, Ustad Zawad Ali Khan, Rita Ganguli, Poornima Chaudhary, Shanti Heerananda, Naina Devi.


Ghulam Hasan Niyazi, Sultan Niyazi, Ghulam Farid Nizami, Chand Nizami, Iqbal Hussain Khan Bandanawaji, Aslam Sabari


Ustan Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, Zahiruddin Dagar, Wasifuddin Dagar, Bundecha Bandhu, Uday Bhawalkar, Pt. Abhay Narayan Mallick, Pt. Ritwik Sanyal.


The Institute was conceived in 1936 and was formally established on 29th January, 1938 as a branch centre of the Ramakrishna Mission founded by Swami Vivekananda.


The Anthropological Survey of India is a premier research organization under the Ministry of Culture. With the Head Office at Kolkata, seven Regional Centres, one Sub-regional Centre, one permanent field station and eight other field stations located in various parts of the country, besides a Camp Office at New Delhi.


The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was established in 1861 and functions as an attached office of the Department of Culture with 21 circles and 3 mini circles whereas headed by the Director General.

The major activities of the Archaeological Survey of India are:

(i) Survey of archaeological remains and excavations;

(ii) Maintenance and conservation of centrally protected monuments sites and remains;

(iii) Chemical preservation of monuments and antiquarian remains;

(iv) Architectural survey of monuments;

(v) Development of epigraphical research and numismatic studies;

(vi) Setting up and re-organization of site museums;

(vii) Expedition abroad;

(viii) Training in Archaeology;

(ix) Publication of technical report and research works.

Three sites, namely, Champaner: (1) Pavagarh Archaeological Park in Gujarat, (2) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) Station in Mumbai and the Brihadisvara temple complex, Gangakondacholapuram and (3) the Airavatesvaira temple complex, Darasuram as an extension to the Brihadisvara temple complex, Thanjavur (now commonly called as the Great Living Chola Temples) have been inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 2004. Nomination dossiers for the following sites have been sent to the World Heritage Centre for inscription on the World Heritage List of UNESCO: (i) Shri Harminder Sahib (GoldenTemple) at Amritsar, Punjab, (ii) Majuli Island in Mid-stream of river Brahmaputra in Assam, (iii) Valley of Flowers as an extension to the Nanda Devi National Park in Uttaranchal, (iv) Red Fort, Delhi (a deferred nomination).

Underwater Archaeology Wing: Search, study and preservation of cultural heritage lying submerged in inland or territorial waters are among the principal functions of the Underwater Archaeology Wing. It carries out exploration and excavation in Arabian Sea as well as in Bay of Bengal.

Science Branch: The Science Branch headquarter at Dehradun, have undertaken the following Scientific Projects:

1. Evaluation of new materials as preservative coatings and strengthened for stone, terracotta, bricks & adobe structures.
2. Scientific studies related to conservation of ancient lime plaster.
3. Evaluation of physical characteristics of plaster cement with addition of rapid hardening plaster cement in different proportions.

Horticulture Branch: The Horticulture Branch provides periodic plants to be used in gardens by developing base nurseries at Delhi, Agra, Srirangapatna and Bhubaneswar.

Epigraphy Branch: The Epigraphy Branch at Mysore carries out research work in Sanskrit and Dravidian languages while the one at Nagpur carries out research work in Arabic and Persian.

Expeditions Abroad: The ASI has taken up the conservation project of Ta Prohm (for period of 10 years and 5 phases), Cambodia under the ITEC programme of Ministry of External Affairs with an outlay of Rs. 19.51 crore. The ASI has commenced the conservation project from January, 2004 onwards and it was formally launched in February, 2004.


The National Archives of India (NAI), New Delhi (formerly, Imperial Record Department) was established in Kolkata on 11 March, 1891 having Regional Office at Bhopal and three Record Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Pondicherry. It is the official custodian of all non-current record of permanent value to the GOI and its predecessor bodies.


The National Mission for Manuscripts (5 year project) was launched in February, 2003 by the Ministry of Culture to save manuscripts with IGNCA as nodal agency. Its primary objective is to reclaim India’s inheritance of knowledge contained in the vast treasure of manuscripts.


The National Museum established in 1949 and has been functioning as a subordinate office under the Ministry of Culture since 1960.


The National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology established in 1989 as deemed to be university at New Delhi as an autonomous organization fully funded by the Ministry of Culture and is only Museum University in India, presently functioning at t he first floor of National Museum, New Delhi. As per its Memorandum of Association, the Director General, National Museum is the ex-officio Vice-Chancellor of this University.


The National Library, Kolkata was established in 1948 with the passing of the Imperial Library (Change of Name) Act, 1948. The basic functions of the Library, which enjoys the status of an institution of national importance, are: (i) Acquisition and conservation of all significant production of printed material (to the exclusion only of ephemera) as well as of manuscripts of national importance; (ii) Collection of printed material concerning the country, no matter where this is published; (iii) Rendering to bibliographical and documentary services of current and retrospective material.


The Central Secretariat Library (CSL) (Imperial Secretariat Library, Kolkata) was established in 1891 and since 1969, has been housed at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi. The collection of Area Studies Division is unique in which books have been arranged according to geographical area. The CSL is also a Microfilm repository under Microfilming of Indian Publication Project (MIPP). The CSL is mainly responsible for overall collection and development on all subjects useful in policy decision-making process. The Library has two branches, namely, Hindi and Regional Languages Wing popularly known as Tulsi Sadan Library, Bahawalpur House, New Delhi and a Text Book Library located at R.K. Puram, New Delhi. The CSL has recently launched a portal “India Information Gateway” and its Web Site http://www.csl.nic.in was inaugurated by Secretary, Ministry of Culture on 21 March, 2005.


The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), established in May, 1979 as an autonomous body by the India Government and currently operating under Minister of Culture with headquarter in New Delhi and 2 regional centres at Udaipur and Hyderabad. CCRT implements the Cultural Talent Search Scholarship Scheme, which was taken over from the Department of Culture in 1982. The scheme offers about 350 scholarships every year to outstanding children (Rs. 10000 p.m.) (age 10-14) studying either in recognized schools or belonging to families practicing traditional performing or other arts to develop their talent in various cultural fields particularly in rare art forms. The scholarships continue till the age of 20 years or the first year of a University degree. The Centre has instituted CCRT Teachers Award carries with it a citation, a plaque, an angavastram and a cash prize of Rs. 10,000. Given every year.


Zonal Cultural Centres have been conceptualized with the aim of projecting cultural kinship which transcend territorial boundaries. The seven zonal cultural centres were established during 1985-86 at Patiala, Kolkata, Thanjavur, Udaipur, Allahabad, Dimapur and Nagpur. The participation of states in more than one zonal cultural centre according to their cultural linkage is a special feature of the composition. With the approval of the Cabinet a Corpus fund for each ZCC was created by Government of India and the participating State Governments to enable the ZCCs to finance their activities from the interest earned on the investment of this Corpus Fund. The Government of India has provided a grant of Rs. 5 Crores to each ZCC and each constituent state has been provided Rs. 1 Crore. In the event of a State being a member of more than one centre, the State’s contribution would not exceed Rs, 1 Crore in all. From 1993 all the Zonal Cultural Centres have been sending their folk artistes for participation in the Republic Day Folk Dance Festival which is inaugurated by the Hon’ble President of India every year on 24th / 25th January at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium. Under the National Cultural Exchange Programme (NCEP), exchanges of artists between different region within the country take place. To promote new talents in the field of music and dance a scheme of Guru Shishya Parampara has been introduced where masters will be identified in the zone, pupil assigned to them and scholarship provided for the purpose. The ZCCs also provide promotion and marketing facilities to craftsmen through Shilpgrams.


The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi was founded in 1954 followed by NGMA Mumbai 1996, while a new one is being set up at Bangalore.


The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) established in 1985 in the memory of the Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. The IGNCA has been designated as a nodal agency for setting up a National Data Bank on Arts, Humanities and Cultural Heritage. A major initiative is a Cultural Informatics Lab (CIL), which employs an integrated methodology to develop applications to access diverse media all fields relating to arts through multimedia and digital technology. Broadly, the major activities of CIL can be classified under three categories of digitization, web-enabled digital library and CRDROM/DVDROM project.

The IGNCA has six functional units:

1. Kala Nidhi (the multi-form library)
2. Kala Kosa (devoted to the study and publication of fundamental texts in Indian Languages)
3. Janapada Sampada (engaged in lifestyle studies)
4. Kaladarsana (the executive unit)
5. Cultural Informatics Lab (applies technology tools)
6. Sutaradhara (the administrative Section)


Its mandate includes preparation of a National Register for Built Heritage, Sites and Antiques and setting up of a state level database on Built Heritage, Sites and Antiquarian wealth for information and dissemination to planners, researchers etc. and better management of such cultural resources.

  • India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is the only Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Tourism. Incorporated on 1st October, 1966, the ITDC played a key role in the development of tourism infrastructure in the country. The present network of ITDC consists of 8 Ashok Group of Hotels, 7 Joint Venture Hotels, 3 Restaurants (Including one Airport Restaurant), 11 Transport Units, 1 Tourist Service Station, Duty Free Shops at Goa and Coimbatore Airports, 1 Tax Free Outlet, and 4 Catering Outlets. Besides ITDC is also managing a hotel at Bharatpur, Tourist Complex at Kosi and a Son-et-Lumeire (SEL) show at Sabannati, Ahmedabad.
  • To conform to the expected standards for different classes of tourists, especially from the point of view of suitability for international tourists, the Ministry of Tourism classifies hotels under the star system in six categories, from One to Five Star Deluxe and Heritage Hotels (introduced in 1994) which is undertaken by the Hotel and Restaurant Approval and Classification Committee (HRACC), set up by the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Heritage Hotel: A special category for classification of heritage hotels has been introduced to cover functioning of hotels in palaces, havelies, castles, forts and residences built prior to 1950.
  • Incredible India Bed and Breakfast Scheme: The Scheme offers foreign and domestic tourists an opportunity to stay with Indian family and enjoy the warm hospitality and a taste of Indian culture and cuisine in a clean and affordable place.
  • The Ministry of Tourism, though its 14 offices overseas endeavours to position Indian in the tourism generating markets as a preferred tourism destination, to promote various tourism products and to increase India’s share in the global tourism market.
  • A Visit India Year 2009 Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in April 2009 in collaboration with all stakeholders including airlines, hotels, tour operators, for incentivizing travel to India.
  • As part of the celebration of the ‘Year of India in Russia’ mega promotional events featuring Indian culture and cuisine were held in Moscow and St. Petersburg in September 2009.
  • The Ministry of Tourism supported a major India promotional event ‘India Calling’ organized by the National Geographic Society in Los Angeles in September 2009.


The National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC), which was established in 1976, is a Subordinate Office of the Department of Culture, and is recognized by the Department of Science and Technology as a scientific institution of the Government of India. The headquarters of NRLC is situated in Lucknow, and a regional centre of the NRLC, the Regional Conservation Laboratory is functioning in Mysore.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 April 2012 07:19


+1 #1 R K DHANADE 2013-11-22 10:57

Add comment

Security code